Roy Henry Drinkard has been chosen as the 2009 Oktoberfest Burgermeister.
Drinkard has been a driving force in Cullman for more than 50 years.
He attended St. Bernard High School and Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science. He went on to serve his country in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. He returned to Guntersville to his family’s funeral home and served as director and embalmer at Drinkard Funeral Homes, CO that consisted of 16 funeral homes in North Alabama. He served at the funeral home until 1949, when it was sold to Liberty National Life Insurance Company.
At age 29, Drinkard bought the historical Borkenau, in downtown Cullman, where he still lives today.
He was a partner in Drinkard Pontiac-GMC in Cullman from May 1949 to May 1955. That same year, he became owner and operator of Drinkard Chevrolet Company until 1965.
From 1965 until 1974, Drinkard was president of Drinkard Chevrolet, Inc., until he turned it over to his son-in-law, Mitch Smith.
In 1967, Drinkard was selected as Small Businessman of the Year for Alabama with the award being presented by then vice president Hubert Humphrey.
He was a member of the Flying 50’s and served for many years as Chairman of the Industrial Development Board that recruited King Edward Cigar, Bendix Westinghouse, formerly Americold and National Screw.
In 2000, he was appointed by then Gov. Don Siegelman to the Troy University Board of Trustees for a ten year term and currently serves on the finance committee.
Today, Drinkard is president of Drinkard Development, LLC, a commercial real estate development business. He has developed numerous shopping centers in Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana and Ohio featuring Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney, K-Mart, Kroger Winn-Dixie and many others stores.
He was selected as the number one developer in the U.S. for K-Mart in 1981 and number one for Kroger in 1982.
Drinkard Development owns and operates in Marktplatz Food Court, Marktplatz Shopping Center, Arnold Village Shopping Center, Town Square Shopping Center and the King Edward Shopping Center.
He has been a member of First Baptist Church in Cullman for more than 69 years.
Drinkard has won numerous awards throughout the years for his business leadership and has been selected to many foundations and boards.